Shivraj Singh Chouhan to expand his cabinet on Sunday

The Shivraj Singh Chouhan cabinet in Madhya Pradesh will be expanded on Sunday, a Raj Bhavan official said late Friday.

Governor Anandiben Patel will administer the oath of office and secrecy to the new ministers in the Raj Bhavan at 12.30 pm on Sunday, the official said.

There are six berths vacant in the cabinet after three ministers losing the bypolls in November this year and two ministers – Tulsi Silavat and Govind Singh Rajput resigning from the cabinet in the run-up to the bypolls in October as they completed six months in their respective office without being members of the state assembly. One berth was already vacant.

Sources said Chouhan is most likely to induct Silavat and Rajput into the cabinet.

State BJP spokesperson Rajneesh Agrawal said, “Cabinet expansion is chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s prerogative. The party is not aware as to how many MLAs will be inducted in the cabinet as ministers.”

This will be the first expansion of Shivraj Singh Chouhan cabinet after the assembly bypolls in November which saw Chouhan government gaining majority in the 230-member assembly with 126 members. Earlier, he had expanded his cabinet on July 2 with 28 new ministers including 20 cabinet ministers and 8 ministers of state. Twelve of the 28 ministers were ex-MLAs who later contested the bypolls.

Earlier, there were just six ministers in the cabinet including CM Chouhan. While Chouhan was sworn in as the chief minister on March 23 he inducted five ministers in his cabinet on April 21. The cabinet can have a maximum of 35 members.

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